By Melissa Tosetti & Kevin Gibbons
Would you rather break down your Tax-To-Do-List doing a little bit at a time over the course of a few days or… dread doing it for the next 11 weeks, wait until the last minute and then scramble to get it done?
One of the reasons we procrastinate when it comes to preparing our taxes is because it can feel like an overwhelming process (that and the fear of “owing”).
Do you remember the stress and anxiety you felt on Tax Day last year as you promised yourself that, NEVER AGAIN, would you wait until the last minute?
Hold to your promise and start the process right now. Chunk it down into bite size tasks that can be done in 15 – 60 minute increments such as:
- Locate all tax documents and put them in one place. This includes the usual 1099 and W-2 forms, but don’t forget your previous year’s tax returns, your deductible receipts and any other relevant records.
- Purchase Tax Software (if you’re going to do it yourself) or… make an appointment with a Tax Professional.
- If you’re going to do your own taxes, set aside one hour on a weekend morning. Actually put it on your schedule. At the appointed time, just do it! When your hour is up, unless you’re on a roll, stop the process and schedule another hour for the following day to finish. Knowing that you will only have to work on your taxes for an hour will help reduce that overwhelming feeling. Also, we have a tendency to expand a task to the time allowed. If we think we have six more weeks to get a task done, it will take six weeks to do it. If we think we have one hour to get a task done, it will take one hour. It’s a generalization, but you get the idea.
- If you are using a Tax Professional, be sure to check to see if you qualify for any discounts or free consulting. Many professionals have agreements with various organizations to offer discounts to certain groups of clients such as veterans, students, or retirees.
Get in, get it done! How great will it feel on April 1st when you’ve already sent your taxes in and everyone else around you is still dreading getting started?